Thursday, July 30, 2015

Pollo alla Diavola

I'd never made a chicken under brick on the grill before when I came across a great looking recipe in one of my new go-to cookbooks yesterday, specifically the The Country Cooking of Italy by Coleman Andrews. Although the Pollo alla Diavola recipe in his books uses neither the brick nor the herbs I use here, it was a nice starting point to riff from.

Foil-wrapped brick holding down the split chicken

the skin is well-cooked but not burnt

Ingredients
1 whole organic, free-range chicken
foil-wrapped brick

Marinade-brush sauce
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
juice from 2 lemons
2 branches fresh rosemary
4 cloves garlic, peeled
Kosher salt
fresh-cracked black pepper

Directions
With the chicken breast side down, use shears or a knife to cut and remove the backbone. Turn the chicken over and press down to flatten it as much as possible. Rub half of the marinade (below) over the entire chicken, then season liberally with salt and pepper. Allow it to marinate at room temperature for at least an hour.

Fire up a grill to about 450°F-500°F. Place the chicken skin-side down on the hot grill, brush some of the remaining marinade on it, then place the brick on top. Turn the chicken over every 10 minutes, brushing on more of the marinade each time before putting the brick back on top. Keep any flame down while the chicken cooks. You want to color and crisp the skin but not burn it.

I use a covered Big Green Egg but on a Weber you'll want to make sure the coals are ash before putting the chicken on the grill. If using a gas grill, keep the temperature to 450°F-500°F.

It should take about 45 minutes to bring the chicken to an internal temperature of 165°F.

Remove from heat, cover with foil to sit for at least 15 minutes before carving and serving.

Marinade
Strip the rosemary leaves from the branches. Mince together with the garlic cloves or pound it all in a mortar with about a tablespoon of olive oil into a paste. Put into a bowl and add the remaining olive oil and the lemon juice. Use half of this as a marinade and the remaining half to brush the chicken periodically as it cooks